Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA and NHL each have their all-star teams. Why not television?

Now that we've come to the end of another regular season of prime-time offerings, we thought it might be an appropriate time to look back over the past few months and recognize some of the "players" who stood out among their peers with triumphant performances and distinctive contributions.

Here then is our 2013-14 all-star team:

  • Jimmy Fallon ("The Tonight Show") -- Congrats, NBC. This was a late-night transition done right. Inheriting Jay Leno's highly coveted throne had its risks, but this "Saturday Night Live" alum instantly won us over with his self-deprecating charm, sincere good cheer and goofy-geeky energy.

    This publicity image released by NBC shows James Spader as "Red" Raymond Reddington in "The Blacklist," premiering Monday, Sept. 23 at
    This publicity image released by NBC shows James Spader as "Red" Raymond Reddington in "The Blacklist," premiering Monday, Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/NBC, David Giesbrecht) (David Giesbrecht)

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    Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson ("True Detective") -- These guys brought striking star power to HBO's crime anthology as a pair of mismatched cops whose private demons surface while they track a serial killer. Doing some of the best work of their careers, they delivered absolutely mesmerizing -- and disturbing -- character studies.

  • Tatiana Maslany ("Orphan Black") -- This do-it-all dynamo is the hardest working person in TV. She continues to astonish us by playing a wide variety of characters with such ardent precision in BBC America's mind-bending clone conspiracy drama. Now, if only the Emmy voters will take note.


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  • Joe Morton ("Scandal") -- ABC's political soap is brimming with devilish characters. Still, Rowan Pope -- Olivia's papa -- rose above the rest this season for the way he boldly orchestrated a White House tragedy and then used it to win back his job as boss of the CIA division of B613. Oh, and those spiteful, snarling sermons. They can freeze your blood.

  • Josh Charles ("The Good Wife") -- After several years of deeply affecting performances on network TV's best drama, the actor who played Will Gardner wanted out. But first he took one for the team as his character was gunned down during courtroom proceedings. It was a shocking, game-changing event that allowed the CBS show to explore new creative directions. And bonus points to Charles for keeping it a secret for so long.

  • Cristin Milioti

    ("How I Met Your Mother") -- The popular CBS comedy made us wait eight, long, frustrating years to meet you-know-who. Thankfully, she was all we could hope for. The radiant Milioti played her character with a winning blend of easygoing charm, openhearted warmth and dorky spunk. Now, if the bone-headed producers had only allowed her to live.

    CHAPEL HILL, NC - APRIL 24: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with host Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at Memorial Hall
    CHAPEL HILL, NC - APRIL 24: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with host Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at Memorial Hall on the UNC campus on April 24, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Obama made an earlier appearance on the campus as part of a effort to get Congress to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling in July. (Photo by Chuck Liddy-Pool/Getty Images) ( Pool )

  • The women of "Saturday Night Live" -- Save for the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler-Maya Rudolph era, NBC's sketch comedy show has mostly been known as a boy's club. But as "SNL" prepares for its 40th season, it is bolstered by a roster of standout funny ladies, led by Cecily Strong, who was named "Weekend Update" anchor in only her second season, and Kate McKinnon, who does a note-perfect impersonation of Justin Beiber. We're confident they'll keep us laughing.

  • Thomas Middleditch ("Silicon Valley") -- TV is so full of nerds these days that it takes a very distinctive one to stand out. Fortunately, Middleditch shines as Richard, the bug-eyed brainiac in Mike Judge's hilarious HBO sitcom. Richard is on the verge of tech-world greatness, but he's so quivery and awkward and spineless that he might not ever get there. We're rooting for him, though.

  • Wendi McLendon-Covey ("The Goldbergs") -- Who knew we'd have to travel back to the 1980s to meet our new favorite sitcom mom? As ABC's Beverly Goldberg, she's a loud and proud "smother" mother who goes out of her way to protect her kids and usually crosses the line as she does. Then again, she knows how to rock the big hair and shoulder pads.

  • James Spader ("The Blacklist") -- Spader is so good at playing bad that we can't imagine anyone else in the role of super villain Raymond "Red" Reddington. His deadpan cool. His haughty speeches. The dark humor and brazen viciousness. They all add up to an engrossing character and the season's top-rated freshman series (on NBC.).

  • Andy Samberg

    ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine") -- The goofy kid from Berkeley proved he could move from sketch comedy and video shorts to a headlining role on a hilariously offbeat Fox sitcom. His reward? A Golden Globe and another season.

  • Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie ("Sleepy Hollow") -- The premise was downright nutty: Ichabod Crane is transformed into a hunky Revolutionary War hero who time-travels to the present day and teams up with a female cop to fight various demons. LOL! But Fox's "Sleepy Hollow" is good, escapist fun, thanks largely to their amazing chemistry and witty banter. Washington Irving might even approve.

    Contact Chuck Barney at cbarney@bayareanewsgroup.com, Twitter.com/chuckbarney and Facebook.com/bayareanewsgroup.chuckbarney.